What To Do: Outdoors

Andy Goldsworthy Cairn, Elaina McCartney, https://flic.kr/p/4HJ9Vn The egg cairn by Andy Goldsworthy. Photo by Elaina McCartney.

Our Visitor Center is nestled in Sapsucker Woods Sanctuary, a 230-acre nature preserve that’s beautiful to visit in any season. Sapsucker Woods encompasses forests, ponds, swamps, and abundant wildlife. Stop in our Visitor Center during our open hours to pick up a map, borrow a pair of binoculars and field guide, or join a guided walk.

Plan Your Visit

Cornell Lab of Ornithology
159 Sapsucker Woods Rd.
Ithaca, NY 14850 (map)
1-800-843-BIRD (2473)

Hours: April through September: 10–5 daily. October through March: 10–4 daily. Closed Thanksgiving Day and Dec. 25 to Jan. 1.

Trails: Open daily, dawn to dusk. No dogs or bicycles please.

Admission: Free. Please make a reservation for groups of 10 or more.

Four miles of trails lead you through forest, old field, wetlands, and pond edge. Trails are on mulched paths or boardwalks and are mostly level. People love to visit Sapsucker Woods for birding, nature walks, and trail runs. The trails are fairly easy going but are not recommended for wheelchairs. Please do not bring dogs or bicycles.

Binoculars and field guides. Stop in during our working hours, and we’ll be happy to loan you a pair of binoculars and a field guide, if you need.

Guided bird walks. Come along for a beginner bird walk led by a member of the Cayuga Bird Club. Walks happen most Saturdays and Sundays, leaving from our Visitor Center at 8:30 a.m. and last about an hour. (Note: this is before the Visitor Center opens, so you’ll need to bring your own binoculars.)

Visit the egg cairn created by renowned natural sculptor and artist Andy Goldsworthy during his residency at Cornell University.

Take a self-guided tour via app. Download PocketSights for Apple or Android. The app uses your device’s GPS to find tours created by local experts. At the Lab, you’ll be able to select from three tours: Art Walk, Habitat Network, and Sapsucker Woods.

Bring along a seasonal trail guide for your walk. See these and a full list of other downloadable guides and activities for your visit.

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